Love Stories to Nature - Span Arts
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Love Stories to Nature

An environmental arts commission

We invite artists and creative practitioners to send us their ideas for new work as part of our Love Stories to Nature commissions.

All ideas need to respond in some way to the prompt of The Environment.

What do we mean by Environment?

We embrace this word in its widest possible context:

  • It could be inspired by or in response to our natural and built physical environment be that urban or rural, mountains or coast, fields, or forests.
  • It could be macro or micro, from the global context to microbiology
  • It could be the climate emergency we are all facing, from a global challenge to personal everyday actions
  • It could be our relationship to the environment, its importance, impact or value on a personal, community or societal scale.
  • It could be any or none of these things, we ask you to define what it means in relation to your idea.

Artwork by Emma Baker

What we are looking for

Ideas that:

  • Come from the heart
  • Are inspiring, innovative, and creative
  • Are ambitious, provocative, and engaging
  • Are Pembrokeshire/West Wales focused but nationally and/or globally relevant
  • Embrace the wide meaning of The Environment, from our natural and build spaces and landscapes to the realities of the climate emergency
  • Understand even though love stories are often positive and uplifting, not all of them have happy endings. The environment can be something that offers enrichment, inspiration, and renewal, equally it is something that is under attack and being abused. We welcome ideas that respond to either or both the light and dark sides of the story.
  • Offer a mix of locations across the county

We are open to any art forms from visual arts and crafts, creative writing and poetry, theatre, drama, dance, sound, sculpture, and 3D work, time-based and digital work and purely participation-based practice.

We welcome ideas that take place in person, inside or outdoors, hybrid or digitally as part of this commission.

We expect to see some element of community/public engagement within the commission, be that central to the creative process or as part of a sharing/show/exhibition/performance. We are as interested in the process as we are in any end product.

In coming up with your idea we ask you to think about the legacy of your work, and what difference it will make. This could be the impact on the people directly involved, including you as an artist, or it could be how it influences how people think, act, engage or feel about the environment.

We hope to continue and evolve the Love Stories commissions next year and would be open to ideas that have the potential to grow and develop through that process. Though this is not a necessary requirement.

The Commissioning Process

The Process

We invite you to submit ideas from the 1st of April 2024 and we will make decisions in 3 community-led panel meetings throughout the year.  

Spring: submission by the 1st of May for consideration in the spring meeting 

Summer: submission by the 1st of July for consideration in the summer meeting 

Autumn: submission by the 2nd of September for the autumn meeting 

The Love Stories to Nature commission budget is currently £10,000. Though we are fundraising with an aim to increase this. We hope to award between £2,000 to £4,000 in each panel meeting.  

You can either respond directly to the brief (download below) or come to one of up to 3 open sessions we will host both online and in person to ask questions or talk about your idea before submitting it. You do not have to come to one or more of these sessions to apply.  

Open sessions

Wednesday the 17th of April 5-6pm,  

Wednesday the 19th of June 5-6pm 

Wednesday 14th August 5-6pm 

These will be group sessions aimed at artists and creative practitioners and hosted by the SPAN team. We may invite members of the community or SPAN volunteers to take part to offer their insight.  

The sessions will take place in a hybrid format. If you are unable to make it in person and would like to join online, please email info@span-arts.org.uk to request the Zoom link.

How to submit an idea:

We invite you to submit your ideas for this commission in whatever format works best to get your message across, it could be written, video or audio.

We don’t have a word count of ideal video length, just make sure you cover all the points above. Please don’t feel you need to write an epic novel or record a feature-length film, try to keep it short and to the point.

Read the full brief here:

LOVE STORIES TO NATURE BRIEF

LOVE STORIES TO NATURE ACCESSIBLE BRIEFOnce you are done send this information to info@span-arts.org.uk

FAQ

Is this art as in visual art or can it be any kind of art?

Any kind of art will be considered, from theatre and performance-based, to visual, written, digital, or sound-based work. Whichever art form you think gets your idea across.

Will you support public art or sculpture?

SPAN does not own land or have rights to install work on public grounds. If you are submitting an idea of this kind you would need to have to negotiate the rights to install the work and have a maintenance plan agreed before the work could be commissioned

Do I have to apply for £3,000 or can I submit a smaller idea?

Ideas of different scales are very welcome, if you have a smaller idea you are looking for support for, we would be happy to consider it

My idea needs more than £3,000, can I submit a larger idea?

At the moment we only have the budget to award up to £3,000 at each panel meeting, if we do not award all the money in a panel meeting it will be rolled forward to the next allowing for larger or more ideas to be considered.

Does the work have to take place in West Wales?

As a Pembrokeshire-based charity, we will favour activity that engages with our local community, but we will consider creative ideas that happen outside of the area as long as they have a local connection or resonance in some way.

Previous Commissions.

Becoming Nature by Lou Luddington watch here

Date Nature by Emily Laurens. Find out more here

A Gathering Tide by Bronwen Gwillum & Gilly Booth – film coming soon.

Our Branch the Stopped Singing by Billy Maxwell Taylor

Songlines by Charlotte Cortazzi & Sue Kullai

The Pull by Sam Walton

Seed to Flight by Sarah Sharpe & Louise Carey